Linux in The News 9-26-22

Last Updated on September 26, 2022 by KC7NYR

PipeWire Gets Initial Support for Next-Generation Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) Audio

PipeWire Bluetooth LE Audio

PipeWire, Linux’s bleeding-edge server for handling audio, video streams, and hardware, is getting ready to support the next generation of Bluetooth audio support.

PipeWire is becoming the norm in audio and video handling among GNU/Linux distributions as more and more of them are switching to it as the default server for handling audio, video streams, and hardware, as well as its powerful session and policy manager WirePlumber.

From my perspective, because of the above, PipeWire is getting a lot of attention from developers these days, and the latest addition paves the way for support of the next generation of Bluetooth audio with the initial implementation of Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) audio support.

According to this GitLab commit, PipeWire received initial support of Bluetooth LE audio-connected streams to the BlueZ5 plugin, which is possible by using the BlueZ Initial BAP support experimental series of patches.

“The BlueZ Media1 interface will not only be used for A2DP but also for LE Audio, as code related can be shared I renamed the codec API from *a2dp* to *media*. Then I added the LC3 codec support using the [liblc3] library from Google,” explains developer Frédéric Danis.

From a technical point of view, this implementation allows the Central/Initiator board to connect, create sink and source nodes, as well as to send audio using paplay or record audio using parec, and the Peripheral/Receptor board to automatically create audio streams to play sound to the default output and record sound from the default input.

For more details, you can check out the GitLab commit linked above, but the Bluetooth LE audio support has landed in PipeWire and will probably be ready for mass consumption with the next release, and PipeWire gets new releases very quickly so you should be able to enjoy it in your GNU/Linux distribution shortly.